What is Proptech?
Just another acronym or an industry game-changer? We look at what it is and where it is heading.
“You can't take over the world without a good acronym” C.S. Woolley
PropTech, FinTech, EdTech…there seems to be a never-ending list of acronyms describing the relationship between industry sector and technology, seemingly offering revolutionary and innovative solutions to their respective marketplaces.
Short for property technology, PropTech is the use of technology to optimise the property management process, including buying, selling, renting or managing property. It could be a software, hardware solution, a service, materials or manufacturing. Though the concept is a relatively new one, it is hard for buyers, sellers or renters to imagine doing things the old-fashioned way. A visit to an estate agent? An actual digitalpaper copy of property details? A third visit to the property with a tape measure (shock horror) to measure for curtains? With digital transformation improving even more, the impracticalities, not to mention time consuming, methods of yester year seem even more outdated.
When did PropTech start?
Narrowing down to a specific year is tricky, but it is fair to say PropTech was a flicker in the technology worlds eyes as early as the Nineties. With personal computers on the increase, property companies realised they needed more advanced technology to manage their portfolios. Fast forward to the mid-2000’s and property companies started to put both commercial and residential property listings online. Software companies stepped up to fill the need to perform more time-consuming functions, like accounting and analytics. Unlike the large-scale sophisticated solutions around today, these earlier PropTech products didn’t talk to each other – often resulting in being more time consuming, and focusing on the business, not the customer.
After the dot com boom in 2000, purchasing or renting a home entirely online was still difficult. From 2001 – 2007 people were feeling more confident about online transactions in general, which in turn spread to the property market. Companies started to target the residential market, developing platforms for searching, buying and renting homes.
Fast forward to the present day, and the significant technological developments in PropTech are there for all to see. Listings are more accessible, enticing us with better quality images, and a sharp increase in virtual tours (helped largely by the forced innovation COVID gave us). The improvements aren’t just restricted to listings, but help to make it easier to market properties, obtain finance, manage properties and even create new business.
The Future of PropTech
As one of the fastest growing investment sectors in the world, PropTech seems assured of a bright future. Further improvements in remote or virtual services, increased support for digital transformation and an ever-increasing demand for flexibility from buyers, sellers and renters alike – these are just some of the areas that will secure PropTechs future.
Rather than just being yet another tech buzz word or passing trend, PropTech is helping put purpose, culture shift and customer experience at the very heart of the property sector. It’s safe to say this is one acronym that is here to stay.
Help is at hand for property professionals
Apex aim to deliver exciting, next generation proptech solutions to solve problems for ambitious forward-thinking companies. Working with business leaders since 2000, we have developed proptech to help change the way they work – removing manual processes, introducing automation and integration between systems and helping to give them a cutting-edge advantage.
To find out how we can help you with your proptech implemetation strategy, contact us.
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